Red, White and Gold Christmas Mantel and Living Room

I'm sharing my red, white and gold Christmas mantel as well as my festive living room, decorated for the holidays. You'll find tips and secrets for adding a full and lush garland to your mantel for under $35! 

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Have you seen those full and lush Christmas garlands, just dripping with greenery? They're SUPER pricey and way outta my budget!

I found a way to create the same look, for much less, and that's what I want to share with you today! There is a trick to getting that full and lush look. The white chalk painted fireplace in our living room grounds the space and is the first place I start decorating in this room because it sets the tone for the rest of the room.

In year's past, I have laid a garland across the top of my mantel, but because my mantel is narrow (it's about 7" wide), it doesn't leave much room for other decor. This year I wanted to add my collection of vintage white milk glass, as well some painted frames, and I needed the space to do that.

I love to decorate for Christmas with red and white, check out last year's home tour here and the year before here. This year I incorporated a little bit of gold for a more elegant look. The brass candlesticks on my dining table and a few gold ornaments on my dining room tree carry this theme. You can see my Christmas dining room here.

How to add a full and lush Christmas garland to your mantel

This was a bit of an experiment this year, but I'll share the steps I followed and they're not difficult! One thing to note before we get started is that none of my garland has attached lights. That is something I like to add at the end.

The trick to getting a full and lush garland for less is to use more than 1 garland! I'm sharing below how I layered 3 garlands to get the look I wanted.

Step 1: Start with a basic, inexpensive Christmas garland

I started with an inexpensive 9-ft garland from Hobby Lobby. It was 50% off, so was only around $6. It appears to be sold out online, but here is a similar garland. I attached it to my mantle top using small command hooks, one on each end. 

Once I added more garland, the hooks weren't wide enough, so I tapped in a couple of small nails into each corner of my mantel and that worked very well to hold the garlands in place!

Step 2: Add a mixed greenery garland

The next step was to add this 9-ft mixed natural garland from Walmart that was only $14.98. These are the same garlands I used on my Christmas porch this year.

It's a beautiful garland with pine cones, but it's not very full and on its own it wouldn't give me that drooping, lush look that I wanted. But with the basic garland underneath it, it is starting to look much fuller! I fluffed the branches and brought some of the bottom garland to the front, so it looked like it was all one piece.

Step 3: Add greenery stems

I cut down three stems of eucalyptus into smaller pieces and tucked them into the garland. The different greenery adds interest and depth. I should also point out that at this stage I realized I wanted more of a droop in my garland so it wasn't going straight across. I just adjusted it slightly by moving where the garland hung on the nail and let it droop slightly in the middle.

Step 4: Add a third garland

I really should have done this in step 2 or 3, but I forgot I had a magnolia leaf garland that I had found at Hobby Lobby for just $5 on sale!

I laid it on top and worked the leaves into the rest of the garland so it didn't look like it was laying on top.

Designer tip: Instead of adding a third garland, if you have access to fresh cedar or pine branches, I would recommend tucking several into the basic garland. Create it as full and lush as you want! Sadly, we don't have these greens where I live, but that would be my first choice!

At this point, I was really happy with how the garland itself looked. To make it feel even more festive, I added a string of fairy lights on a timer to the greenery, as well as some sugar pinecones and ornaments that I hung at each corner.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember the picture frame project I was working on in the fall. I saved 3 picture frames that were headed to Goodwill, and spray painted them gold.

Then I used Krylon Looking Glass spray paint on the glass from each frame. The idea was to create a vintage mirrored effect.

Our living room has a large fan that would be reflected in a mirror if I used one on our mantel. By using the mirrored spray paint and then inserting the glass back into the frames backwards (in other words, the mirrored side is facing the fireplace), I get a slightly reflective vintage effect but the ceiling fan doesn't show up! Does that make sense?

I was able to achieve that full and luscious drooping Christmas garland that I wanted, for around $32! And by hanging the garland on the front of the mantel rather than on top, it left room for the frames and the milk glass.

Christmas Living Room Tour

Here are some more picture of this space. You get a peek of my easy  Christmas gallery wall (made from canvases) in the sunroom.

Our large collection of Christmas books was displayed in an open wire basket so they're easy to see and become part of the holiday decor.

I didn't forget about our wall of built ins.

I had fun displaying our nativities on the shelves and creating a little vignette in the center with a wreath and my DIY glitter ornament nativity.

My DIY weathered wood pedestal holds a glass nativity and the frosted luminaries I made last year look pretty on the bookshelves. Can you believe the snowy centers lasted all year long in the attic (it's just flour steamed onto the glass!).

A few bottlebrush trees mix nicely with my small ironstone creamers.

A glass cloche protects and highlights a small ceramic nativity that I inherited from my mother-in-law's collection of over 400 nativities from around the world!

A new wreath above the sofa adds more Christmas warmth.

I piled pinecones and mercury glass ornaments into a wood bowl for a low profile vignette on the coffee table. I didn't want to block the view of our beautiful fireplace!

I left the vintage door in place and just added some Christmas picks to the willow basket.

We have been enjoying cool weather and have finally been able to turn the fireplace on a few times! It makes it so cozy and cheerful in our farmhouse living room, perfect for playing family games or watching a movie together.

Christmas living room with red

I hope you enjoyed touring our Christmas living room, and that you found the garland decorating tips to be helpful!

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farmhouse Christmas living room decor

See more of my Christmas decorated home here:

Later this week I'm joining the Thrifty Style Team girls for a giveaway! I'll also be sharing another easy canvas sign, and I'll finally be sharing some beautiful pictures of our getaway to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC!


bringing beauty to the ordinary,


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